In his victory speech following the North Carolina Primary, Obama declared, “I trust the American people to understand that it is not weakness, but wisdom to talk not just to our friends, but to our enemies, like Roosevelt did, and Kennedy did, and Truman did.”
Well Real Clear Politics published a commentary by Jack Kelly pointing out that Barak’s statement demonstrates stupidity, not wisdom. Kelly writes:
I assume the Roosevelt to whom Sen. Obama referred is Franklin D. Roosevelt. Our enemies in World War II were Nazi Germany, headed by Adolf Hitler; fascist Italy, headed by Benito Mussolini, and militarist Japan, headed by Hideki Tojo. FDR talked directly with none of them before the outbreak of hostilities, and his policy once war began was unconditional surrender.
FDR died before victory was achieved, and was succeeded by Harry Truman. Truman did not modify the policy of unconditional surrender. He ended that war not with negotiation, but with the atomic bomb.
Harry Truman also was president when North Korea invaded South Korea in June, 1950. President Truman’s response was not to call up North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung for a chat. It was to send troops.
So apparently, Roosevelt and Truman did not agree with Barak’s belief in unconditional talks with enemy states. In fact, they held that the only condition that merited talks was that of “Unconditional Surrender.” Kelly goes on to debunk the Obama’s “wisdom” when it relates to the actions of President Kennedy:
Sen. Obama is on both sounder and softer ground with regard to John F. Kennedy. The new president held a summit meeting with Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev in Vienna in June, 1961.
Elie Abel, who wrote a history of the Cuban missile crisis (The Missiles of October), said the crisis had its genesis in that summit.
“There is reason to believe that Khrushchev took Kennedy’s measure in June 1961 and decided this was a young man who would shrink from hard decisions,” Mr. Abel wrote. “There is no evidence to support the belief that Khrushchev ever questioned America’s power. He questioned only the president’s readiness to use it. As he once told Robert Frost, he came to believe that Americans are ‘too liberal to fight.'”
That view was supported by New York Times columnist James Reston, who traveled to Vienna with President Kennedy: “Khrushchev had studied the events of the Bay of Pigs,” Mr. Reston wrote. “He would have understood if Kennedy had left Castro alone or destroyed him, but when Kennedy was rash enough to strike at Cuba but not bold enough to finish the job, Khrushchev decided he was dealing with an inexperienced young leader who could be intimidated and blackmailed.”
Ok…. I’m still waiting for the “Wisdom” to which Obama is referring? Like a school yard bully, Khrushcev saw Kennedy’s overtures as a lack of will to fight, which we all know, will provoke said bullies to be even more bold and aggressive. I wonder how much sooner the cold war could have been ended, had Kennedy not compromised our credibility as a military superpower ready to do whatever it took to protect our citizens.
There is a popular saying: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Well, through his own words, Barak Obama demonstrates that not only has he failed to learn vital lessons from history, he hasn’t even learned the facts of history.
So are you saying that Kennedy should have engaged in a nuclear strike with Russia during the Cuban Missle Crisis? Whatever you think of Kennedy, the fact that he did NOT engage nuclear weapons at the time was one of the BEST decisions he could have made.
One example of when a President engages in Diplomacy: Jim Lea writes in Stripes.com:
“… Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected U.S. president in November 1952 and fulfilled a campaign promise to go to Korea and attempt to bring an end to the war. He arrived in December and made it clear that he, too, was looking for an armistice rather than a military victory. (NOTE: An amristice is a truce, NOT unconditional surrender).
He let it be known to Moscow, Peking and Pyongyang that if the talks were not reopened and did not proceed satisfactorily toward an armistice, U.N. forces would “move decisively without inhibition in our use of weapons and would no longer be responsible for confining hostilities to the Korean Peninsula.”
There was, however, no response from the communists to Eisenhower’s statement or to a proposal by Clark that the two sides exchange sick and wounded prisoners. Lt. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor succeeded Van Fleet in February and continued to conduct skirmishes with the North Koreans and Chinese. A break in the Panmunjom deadlock came in March, some three weeks after Soviet leader Joseph Stalin died.
North Korean and Chinese delegates agreed to an exchange of sick and wounded prisoners. The armistice talks resumed in April, the exchange of sick and wounded prisoners took place shortly thereafter, and the POW issue was settled by mid-June.
The two sides agreed that each would be allowed to persuade any prisoners who refused repatriation to change their minds.
With the armistice almost a reality, battlefield action increased as Chinese and North Korean troops made a final attempt to grab more land. On July 13, communist forces drove eight miles into the central sector of the 8th Army line. Taylor counterattacked, but ended the final battle of the war July 20 because negotiators had nearly reached an accord.
The agreement was signed at 10 a.m. July 27, 1953, in a building hastily erected by the North for the ceremony.”
My point: That talking – even when you are a newly-elected president seeking to end a war going nowhere – can produce results.